Thursday, 12 January 2017

The Catholic Doctrine Of The Eucharist. Part 16.



The opposers of the mysteries of religion know that animals left without food languish and die—that if, on the contrary, they are well nourished, they grow and fatten; hence it might be inferred, that the food consumed becomes, though it is unknown how, real animal substance, flesh, blood, and bone. Are these impugners of Transubstantiation still inclined to deny, because their reason does not comprehend it, that the bread which they had eaten in their childhood, was, by the divine power, wonderfully changed in the organs of digestion into their flesh and blood, and that they have thus grown to the full stature of men ? Or will they obstinately insist that they are still children in size as well as in faith ? No, for the sake of reason, for the sake of their own souls, it is hoped they will no longer be obstinate, but believe. Is it possible that they will persevere to assert, that the same Almighty power which increases the grain of corn one hundred fold in the hand of the husbandman for the nourishment of their corruptible bodies, is incapable of changing the Bread in the hand of the Priest into his Body for the food of their immortal souls; and that Divine Being, who changes the richness of the soil into the juice of the grape, is not able to change Wine into his Blood ?

The dogmas of the Catholic Church are fixed—there is no being on earth capable of making a new article of faith. It was the peculiar right of the loving Redeemer, who from mercy died for men, to establish the conditions of salvation. It is the duty of all who wish to be saved, to endeavour to know these conditions, and with the divine grace to comply with them. Surely there can be no mode of knowledge more certain than to consult antiquity—nor of ascertaining the purity of water than by examining up to the fountain. Now if the modern system of believing only what we understand be adopted, it will follow, that the number of articles of faith will be as various as the degrees of judgment each individual possesses; and, consequently, the less a man knows, the greater right he has to become an infidel.